PDA

View Full Version : CLAMAR Floats and Smith Aircraft Works Tour



irishfield
03-20-2005, 02:58 PM
On Saturday March 19th I led a group of approximately 20 aviation minded gentlemen on a tour of the CLAMAR Floats mfg facility and the Smith Aircraft Works fuselage mfg facility. I was able to arrange this as I supply some alum parts to CLAMAR.

Clair Sceli totally explained the mfg process to the guys stating take all the pictures you like we have nothing to hide. Their glass process is ahead of what Diamond and even Airbus are using. The floats are mfg using an infusion process which, after vacuum bagging the fibers for a couple hours, they draw the resin into the sandwich. This process insures exact saturation for consistent weight/strength and the absolute lightest and strongest structure they can get. When a wet layup process is used weight is higher with no strength gain and also inconsistent depending on where and how much the guys brush onto the fibers. The other thing this infusion process does is guarantee that the kevlar used in some sections is totally encapsulated. This is imperative as Kevlar is hydroscopic and will wick moisture into the glass even if a single fiber is left sticking out of the resin. Clair admits they didn't invent this infusion process, it's been around for a long time, but it has been relatively ignored by the main mfgs for years that thought investing in multi million dollar prepreg machines was the way to go instead (and based on Airbus's A310 failures was not!).

CLAMAR is going none stop pumping out 2200 straights and amphibs for the experimental SuperCub lines, Glastars, etc. They have also made some mould extensions and are now fully capable of mfg a 2500 series. Picture in my gallery of a set of 2500's ready for installation to a customers 4 place Bush Caddy. They are also well into development of a 3500 series float. The male plug is a week or so away from final refinement, then a two piece female mould will be made off of it so they can get into production for this seasons installation on the first few Murphy Moose and aircraft of similar gross weights.

Pricing IMHO opinion is excellent for this product $32,500CDN for 2200 amphibs and the first three sets of 3500 amphibs will be only $49,900 Cdn as an intro price. It will rise to $59,900Cdn after that, Compare that to the $65,500US+ of Aeroset and you'll know pretty quickly why it's such a great deal. These prices also include all mounting gear, spreader bars, water rudders etc,

We went from CLAMAR, about 6 miles down the road, to Smith Aircraft Works to have a look at the fuselage facility. I can tell you that I was there 2 years ago and things are sure booming since my last visit. Purchase of a computer operated plasma cutter to do all the tube notching automatically, from stored profiles of every tube, to help considerably with pumping out production against their sales orders of over 100 complete kits. There were over 18 fuselages in the shop awaiting final processing of water rudder tabs, etc after coming out of their substantially robust and accurate jigs. Also viewed the prototype fuselage of the 4 place bushmaster and it's new jig that is still tack welded in case there are any changes decided on before full bore production.

As for the wings, someone asked about the airfoil recently. It is the exact same profile as used on the certified supercub. No modifications to the profile. Wings are manufactured in a separate facility in Alymer, Ontario. One day I'll do a tour of there as well for a report.

For pictures of the days tour it would be easiest to go to my gallery at
http://sparky.supercub.org/photopost/showgallery.php?cat=500&ppuser=491 instead of tying up bandwidth here. Photo's aren't the greatest, but they give you an idea of what's happening. Here's one of 6 fuselages stacked ready for tab welding and then out for powder coat.

Cheers,
Wayne O'Shea
http://sparky.supercub.org/photopost/data/500/medium/SMITHstackof6fuselages.jpg

KelvinG
03-20-2005, 03:43 PM
Wayne,
Thanks for the pictures. That is the first look I have gotten at my 4 place fuselage! You have no idea how fired up I am to pick it up after the Alaska Airmens show.

Take care,
KelvinG

irishfield
03-20-2005, 04:14 PM
Glad I could help get your blood pumping! Added another shot of that 4 place fuselage to my gallery.

Wayne

Steve Pierce
03-20-2005, 09:13 PM
There are a couple of mods I would make to that four place fuselage if it were me. Rebuilding Clippers and Pacers I think you need a tube from the instrument panel to the back to about where the seat goes like Roger Borer's STC, Maules and Taylorcrafts. I would also change the structure from the center of the instrument panel forward if you are going to use a center stack of radios and modern instruments. I will post a picture from my computer at the hanger tomorrow. These are just my opinions. I think they are on to a great airplane here.

irishfield
03-21-2005, 10:15 AM
Talked with Nick and here are some more details on the 4 place. "We've changed the name to the "Tundra Boss". It is 4" wider than a pacer, 3-3/8 inches higher and the same length as the PA-12.This plane can use a variety of engines ex. 4or 6 cylinder Lycomings, 6 cylinder Continentals or the large turbine from Innodyn(about 285 hp). Should have a empty weight of 1300-1400 lbs depending on engine and has a gross of 2850 lbs.Were using Piper Pawnee wing reinforcements and our square super cub wing with the longer flap and aileron with the optional outboard tanks for a total of 68 gallons.We've hired additional help to work on these planes, we'll probably build 6 this year, 12 next year and see from there."